The Sept. 25 ruling reversed a trial court's decision for summary judgment in the case.
In 2003, after a leadership dispute with its parent body, the Betsuin congregation was expelled from the Jodo Shu organization and barred from using the temple at 442 E. 3rd St. in downtown Los Angeles.
It has since met at the nearby Japanese American Cultural & Community Center.
The ruling allows the congregation of mainly second-generation Japanese Americans to pursue financial claims, and claims to artifacts and other property at the temple, including an altar and statues of Buddhist figures, attorneys said.
The appeals panel let stand the congregation's eviction from the building, saying it was a religious issue and not appropriate to address in civil court.